Barbecue

Texas barbecue, the classic version of which is found primarily in Central Texas and distinguished by its use of beef brisket and its indirect smoking method, is superior to all other regional varieties of barbecue. This is an incontrovertible fact. However, the state boasts tremendous variety of barbecue styles, from the cabrito pits of South Texas to the sweet tangy ribs of East Texas. Over the years, Texas Monthly has written about them all. In our first barbecue story, “The World’s Best Barbecue is in Taylor, Texas. Or is it Lockhart?” Griffin Smith Jr. wrote that, “at first blush, the East Texas chopped pork sandwich with hot sauce has little in common with the slab of Central Texas beef. . . . The emphasis in Central Texas is overwhelmingly on the meat itself—sauce, if available at all, is usually just a side dip.”

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Food & Drink |
December 6, 2013

The Soul of a Pitmaster

For more than a quarter century, Roy Perez has been tending the fires at Kreuz Market and posing for photos with barbecue aficionados. It’s given him a lot of time to think.

Food & Drink |
November 12, 2013

Bowl of Dread

I was aghast when chili was first anointed our official state dish. More than 35 years later, my feelings about this greasy mush haven't changed.

Texas History |
August 20, 2013

The Genesis of the Barbecue Joint

Sifting through old Texas newspapers, I found the first mention of commercial smoked meat from the Brenham Weekly Banner, which announced that a Bastrop butcher "keeps on hand at his stall a ready stock of barbecued meats and cooked sausages."

Eat My Words |
May 31, 2013

“The Kings of BBQ: Barbecue Kuwait” to Air on KLRU

On Thursday, June 6, KLRU will air a television special entitled The Kings of BBQ: Barbecue Kuwait.The documentary details the experience of five BBQ pitmasters (Myron Mixon, Johnny Trigg, Jaime Geer, Nicole Davenport, and George Stone) and their trip to a military base in Kuwait to create a

Food & Drink |
May 13, 2013

Welcome to the World Wide Web of Barbecue

Things have changed dramatically since we published our last list of the state’s top fifty barbecue joints, in 2008. Not only has there been an unprecedented flourishing of new joints (sixteen of the places on this year’s list were not open five years ago, including two of the top four), and

BBQ |
January 21, 2013

Bringing Brisket to New York the Right Way

Daniel Delaney, a Brooklyn-based blogger who professes a deep and profound respect for Texas barbecue, bought a 200-pound smoker and a truckload's worth of Texas post oak to start Brisket Lab in his home state. 

Food & Drink |
January 21, 2013

Reinventing Barbecue

Where there's smoke, there's non-traditional barbecue. Jim Shahin writes about Asian styles in New York City, "pulled squash" in Arizona, and cauliflower, artichokes, and quail in Texas.

Food & Drink |
January 21, 2013

Ode to Slaw

I love living in Texas, but I believe we underestimate our coleslaw, which is usually served in a little cup, off to the side of the meat. I contend it is capable of more responsibility than that. In Mississippi, where I grew up and ate my first barbecue, it was

Food & Drink |
January 21, 2013

Ode to White Bread

There was a time in this country when you could eat a wonderfully flavorless slice of this substance and not feel like a villain. But that time is long ago, back in the days before iceberg lettuce, white bread’s vegetable companion in blahness, was driven underground. And though iceberg lettuce

Food & Drink |
January 21, 2013

Ode to Potato Salad

Potato salad is one of my four favorite vegetables, right up there with tuna salad, deviled eggs, and slices of Velveeta. You need a mustardy tang and some starch to balance the overpowering sweetness of barbecue sauce. That’s where the masters in the art of salade de pommes de terre

Food & Drink |
January 21, 2013

Ode to Sausage

President George W. Bush will leave Washington, D.C., the city where I, a boy from Houston, now reside, every bit as divided as it was when he first hit town. This is too bad, but a far bigger disappointment is that he has not spent a farthing of his political

Food & Drink |
January 21, 2013

Ode to Ribs

The waitress says the man at Table Three is making noises.You’d think she would be used to grunting when the sun goes down at Melvin’s Rib Château,but this one’s whispering amen into his marinade, getting sauce all over his Armani.It could be he’s an escapee from a gated communityof

Food & Drink |
January 21, 2013

Ode to Pulled Pork

Though I am proud to claim Texas associations, I am from the South. So when it comes to barbecue, my first thought is not of brisket but of pork. Does a pig have brisket? It may be hard to find, on a pig.A cow spends more time standing up and

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

Holy Smoke

For photographer Wyatt McSpadden, the barbecue joints of Texas are soot-stained temples of meat and their pitmasters solemn keepers of an old-time religion.

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

You Can Take the BBQ Out of Texas . . .

MANHATTANHill Country Barbecue MarketLast year, word of a new barbecue restaurant spread through New York’s Texas-expat community. Usually, this kind of thing doesn’t cause much of a stir. We see a lot of “Texas barbecue” joints up here where they take a brisket that tastes like pastrami and drench it

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

Ode to . . .

Ode To BrisketWhen you’re a food writer, people are always asking about the best meal you’ve ever eaten. I know they’re expecting tales of an unforgettable lunch at Michel Bras or a poetic kaiseki meal in Kyoto or a beluga extravaganza on the banks of the Volga, but what always